Many couples who decide to do their own wedding planning opt to hire a professional coordinator to be there with them on their wedding day. It’s a fantastic idea and I’ve seen how beneficial it is for my couples first hand. The problem is, most of us think this means you should be looking for a “Day Of Wedding Coordinator”. I think there’s a lot of confusion about that title – I was even confused about it. So I recently sat down with Rachel Welland, owner of Bliss Events, one of San Diego’s top wedding coordination companies. We had a great conversation about wedding coordination. And now I know that you will miss out on some of the best of the best coordinators – who are happy to work with clients who want to do most of their own planning and mainly want help on the wedding day only – because don’t call it “Day Of” Coordination. And for good reason!

Here’s a part of my Q&A with Rachel:

-Many couples decide they don’t need a full planning and coordination package. But they know they need someone there to help on the day of the wedding. Often, they automatically think what they need is “day of” wedding coordination services. Can you tell us more about partial planning and coordination and how they differ from “day of” coordination?

True “Day Of” Coordination means that the Coordinator will show up on the day of the wedding, having done no prior work on it, and coordinate the wedding. In other words, it’s a recipe for disaster! In order to be successful, a Coordinator needs to work on the wedding prior to the wedding day – familiarizing themselves with it, communicating with the vendors, tying up loose ends, and organizing everything to ensure a smooth and stress-free event! Most commonly the work prior to the wedding day can be done in four to six weeks, which is known as “Month Of” Coordination… at my company we consider this the minimum amount of Coordination, so it is our base package.

-What are some questions clients should ask potential wedding coordinators when interviewing them to make sure they are getting a true experienced professional? Are there any red flags to watch for?

Brides & Grooms can ask Coordinators about their years of experience, approximately how many weddings/events they have coordinated, their education, and how they keep current in the Special Event and Wedding industry. Some less standard questions that can give more insight are: “What was the worst emergency situation you have ever dealt with at a wedding/event, and how did you handle it?” , “Who is your ideal client and why?” , “Who is NOT your ideal client, and why?”, “What experience do you have that will translate into my wedding planning specifically?”, “How do you determine which vendors to recommend to your clients? Do you always recommend the same vendors or do you customize your recommendations?”, “Why should I hire you?” Some red flags to watch for are Coordinators with unbelievably low prices (you get what you pay for!), Coordinators who refer the same vendors to all of their clients (they are probably getting a kickback!), and Coordinators who are late to your meeting or don’t have marketing materials (not a professional!).

-Should “Month of Coordination” clients book your services right away even though the wedding isn’t for a year or more away? I imagine you must cap how many events you can take per month.

YES, Brides & Grooms should book their Coordinator far in advance, just like they would book any other vendor. Each of our Coordinators does one wedding per weekend so we book quickly and of course certain weekends of the year are considered high-demand. All summertime weddings – especially Memorial Day weekend, Fourth of July weekend, and Labor Day weekend – should try to book a Coordinator as soon as they can during their wedding planning.

-Please tell us about your team’s education, community involvement, and achievements.

Bliss Events currently has 4 Coordinators, and between us we have completed Special Event Education courses at UCSD and USD, a degree in Interior Design, experience working at numerous hotels and venues in San Diego, membership at ISES – International Special Events Society and NACE – National Association of Catering and Events (and past Executive Board membership). And there is more! – please visit our “Honors & Press” webpage which also lists our Awards & Affiliations (there are too many to list here!):

-Who is your ideal client? 

Clients who book Bliss Events are fun, smart, and savvy – with an eye for design. We have the BEST clients!!! They truly consider us partners in their wedding planning experience and we respect them for that, and in turn they value what we do. They are looking for an experienced Coordinator who can use their knowledge, design skill, and organization to gather the bits and pieces of their wedding planning and make it come together in a beautiful and magical event. They want to be able to be “in the moment” with their fiancé, family, and friends on their wedding day, without any worry or stress. We love to give them exactly what they want and make their wedding dreams come true!

You can reach Rachel and her team directly with any additional questions or inquiries about your own wedding here:
Click here for the Bliss Events Official Website